Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Guest from the West.

Rich Siegel writes a great, funny, insightful blog on advertising and life called Round Seventeen, visit it here. Often.

We decided to trade places for a day. Today Rich has written Ad Aged, below, and my day's post is on his blog.


I have always been jealous of my friend George’s apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Not because of its view of the East River. Or its colorful doorman whose quick and colorful snappy retorts are often quoted by residents of the building.

Truth is, I’ve never stepped foot in the place. But it is in Manhattan. In the city where I was born. And it is in walking distance to the famous Tempus Fugit where they serve Pike’s Ale (The ALE that won for YALE.)

So you can imagine my delight when I heard that Tempus Fugit was following in the footsteps of other successful drinking establishments, like Benigans, Fuddruckers and Applebees, was in expansion mode and had opened the doors to Tempus Fugit West.

Even more exciting, TFW, was right here in Culver City, on the East end of town in a building, near a building where Charles Bukowski had once urinated on.

I wanted to make my first venture to TFW a special one, so I purposely waited for one of those Southern Californian nights that lent itself to moody over imbibement. It was Tuesday and the temperature had already dropped in the low 50’s. Moreover, as the local weatherman had teased for a week, a low pressure system was viciously working its way down from Santa Barbara and was drenching Southern California with “Intermittent Sprinkles.”

Nevertheless, I braved the elements and made my way towards the Tempus Fugit West where I was quick to discover they served a new microbrew, Mustache Dan’s – The IPA that beat UofA. I cozied up to the bar and made eye contact with my barkeep, who carefully poured me a pint while pointing out some of the finer points of the TFW, which to my disappointment seemed unlike its east coast counterpart.

“Check out the pock-marked floors. Are you seeing that? Those are new, freshly pock marked floors?” asked the overly enthusiastic bartender.

“Yes,” I replied, hoping to stem his eagerness.

“We have a guy from Brentwood who came in and pocked the floor. He has his own business. Best floor-pocking this side of Barrington Ave. If you want your floors pocked I can give you his card.”

I made quick work of the first Mustache Dan’s (The IPA that beat UofA) and ordered a second. At this point I tried to steer the conversation in another direction.

I hadn’t come to the Tempus Fugit West in search of any life wisdom. On the other hand I wasn’t averse to listening to a worldly saloonkeeper prattle on about his recent safari in Namibia. Or his dalliance with a leggy secretary….er, Administrative Assistant who worked the seedier section of Boyle Heights. Hell, I’d even entertain an overwrought soapbox sermon drawn from the writings of Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.

But Brad, my bartender, was not game. In fact, when prodded, Brad admitted
he had never read any classic literature and was a huge fan of the Cliff Notes.

“I do like Russian Dressing on my salad. And isn’t it the same as Thousand Island? Which is weird because I don’t think Russia has a Thousand Islands. Or does it? I don’t know, I’m a Wheel of Fortune guy. Do you like that show?”  

The Intermittent Sprinkles had turned to a Light drizzle and I thought it best to start my walk home before shallow puddles started forming on the streets. I drained my beer thinking my experience with Tempus Fugit West was not what I had hoped.

I reached in my wallet and pushed a twenty dollar bill across the slick slate bar, polished by a guy in Pacoima who also does flooring and shower tiling. Brad didn’t slide the twenty back in my direction with a wink and a smile, which might have redeemed the evening.

He put the bill in the cash register and waited…

“That’s two IPA’s and the Kale chips….comes to $26.50.”

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